Sauget, Ill. – The Gateway Grizzlies launched five homers on Sunday evening in a 17-6 rout of the Joliet Slammers, including a pair of grand slams. Gateway scored 14 runs in the span of three innings to win the rubber game a weekend series.
Gateway (42-43) trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the second inning. That’s when the offensive explosion began.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Brandon Thomas smashed a grand slam to left field. His 11th homer of the season put the Grizzlies in front, 4-3.
Carter Bell hit a solo shot for the Slammers (44-39) to tie the game at 4-4 in the top half of the third. The Grizzlies responded immediately in the bottom half as Ben Waldrip and Sam Fischer rocketed back-to-back homers to begin the inning.
Later in the frame, Josh Bunselmeyer drove in a run with a single. Gateway capped off the third inning and took a 10-4 lead as Tyler Tewell belted a three-run blast to centerfield.
In the fourth, the Grizzlies loaded the bases once again. Bunselmeyer stepped in and smacked another grand slam over the left field fence. It was Gateway’s fifth home run and gave the team a 14-4 advantage.
On the pitching side, Gateway RHP Adam Eggnatz gave up six runs in four innings on the mound, with one of the runs being unearned. RHP Jon Pusateri (3-1) replaced him in the fifth and shined through 3.1 innings, as he gave up just one hit and no runs. RHP Ja’Vaun West closed things out with 1.2 scoreless frames.
Joliet lefty Spencer Medick gave up the grand slam to Thomas in the second inning and did not continue past the end of the second. RHP Marc Rutledge (2-5) came on for the third inning and allowed six runs while recording just two outs. LHP Donovan Fenestra allowed four earned runs while the Grizzlies rallied for three more against RHP Kevin Simmons and RHP Robert Robbins.
Bunselmeyer led the way for Gateway’s offense with four hits including a grand slam, three runs scored, and five total RBI. Six different players had multi-hit games in Gateway’s lineup.
After two straight days off, the Grizzlies return to action on Wednesday night at GCS Ballpark against the River City Rascals. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs Wednesday on 1400 AM KJFF and www.GatewayGrizzlies.com/Radio
. Sam Levitt has the call.